Technology changes how teens find tunes


Media by Marlen Reynoso

Marlen Reynoso, sophomore, attended Omar Apollo’s concert on Thursday, Nov. 10. Reynoso found his music through Tiktok and said she really enjoyed it. “I’m happy I found his music. He’s a great performer,” Reynoso said.

Jason Winter, music teacher, often asks his students about the music they have been listening to and then he gives the songs a try. 

“I had a student introduce me to a group called Tuxedo. Although I’ve heard of the group before, I found a lot more of their music that had a great groove and fun message,” Winter said.

Over his 26 years of teaching, Winter has said that he noticed changes in how students find their music.

“In my early teaching we learned about music titles through radio stations, which means our consumption of music was controlled by the producers, radio stations and advertisers,” Winter said.  “As technology changed, we had more access to music through other means.”

Now, students consume music through apps such as Spotify, Instagram or TikTok. 

“The switch to digital music recording and sharing now allows so much access to artists and music that we would have never seen 26 years ago,” Winter said.

Clark Rovin, senior, is one of Winter’s students. When his friends ask him for song recommendations, he picks the most upbeat songs on his playlist. Rovin uses YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify to find his favorite songs. 

Ravyn Lenae opened for Omar Apollo’s concert. Marlen Reynoso, sophomore, remembered Lenae’s music from TikTok last year where the song, “Computer Luv”, became popular. (Media by Marlen Reynoso)

But he doesn’t find these songs by searching for them.

“Normally, I just find them while doing other things like reading or playing a game,” Rovin said. “If you just go and explore, and start listening to different songs, eventually you’ll find something.”

Rovin likes to take advantage of technology when it comes to finding music.

“Once I got a phone, I was able to have access to the internet whenever I liked,” Rovin said. “That gave me the freedom to not have to just listen to whatever was on the radio.”

As Marlen Reynoso, sophomore, scrolled through TikTok in October, she stumbled upon a haul video on her For You Page (FYP). In the background was a sped-up version of the song “Evergreen” by Omar Apollo.  

“I saw more videos with his song on my FYP and a friend told me more about him,” Reynoso said. “I started listening to his songs.”

TikTok is an app that uses different audios over short videos. Every month there’s a handful of audios that start trending, and some of those are short snip-bits of songs. 

If you just go and explore, and start listening to different songs, eventually you’ll find something.

— Clark Rovin

Reynoso has found a number of songs from scrolling through TikTok such as “Really Bad Boy” by Red Velvet and “One More Hour” by Tame Impala, to name a few.

In the past year, gatekeeping, or keeping an artist or song to oneself, became a common practice among TikTok users. This began once users began to debate whether it is good to have songs trend on TikTok, or not. 

Saja Mohsen, sophomore, can see both sides to this argument. 

“I used to like ‘Take my Breathe’ by The Weeknd. That blew up on TikTok, but then I stopped liking it,” Mohsen said. “It’s kind of off and on with TikTok. You begin to hear it too much and then you get sick of it, but once it gets off TikTok you start to like it again.” 

Before downloading the app, she listened mostly to pop, such as Steve Lacy and The Weekend.

“TikTok helps spread music taste,” Mohsen said.